TULSA Public School enrollment down

Friday, August 24th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Tulsa Public Schools have been in session for more than a week, but hundreds of students still haven't reported to class. Enrollment is down by nearly 3,000 students, but school officials aren't concerned.

News on Six Reporter Glenda Silvey says Tulsa Public School student enrollment is at around 39,400 students. That's about 3,000 below what the district expected. But schools officials believe they know why. "This is not a cause for concern or alarm." Public Information Officer John Hamill says the lower enrollment is typical for the beginning of a school year. "This reflects two things. Number one, kindergarten doesn't kick in until Wednesday. Today's Thursday, we were up a thousand students from Monday."

But Hamill says the larger reason has to do with a problem schools face, parents who don't get their children ready to start school on time. "Much to our chagrin, we have people missing two and a half weeks of school by holding their kids back until Labor Day." Hamill says a substantial number of parents don't believe school starts until after that date, but are depriving their children of important learning that takes place in the opening days of school. "We fully expect by Wednesday of next week to be where we ought to be. But the crying shame is that those 3,000 kids have missed out on quite a bit of their fall semester."

Schools urge parents to support their children's education by starting school on time.